Downtown Missoula’s parade of lights!


kjpargeter (Freepik)

Cute Christmas Tree

Downtown Missoula held the annual parade of lights again this year! On Saturday December 3 the whole city joined together to celebrate the holidays. Downtown shops opened up all along Higgins Avenue to show their holiday spirit. Sponsors and companies created floats along the street letting the pedestrians walk and view the parade rather than the floats driving by. The parade ends with the town viewing of the tree lighting right by the XXXX’s

We know for
sure that Missoula’s
holidays will shine
as bright as the
beautiful town tree. 

The Reverse Parade brings joy to the people of Missoula with the Winter Makers Market by the Missoula Makers Collective. A reverse parade means that the floats are parked along the road and the people walk by to see them. Many of the shops downtown hold their own special events to coincide with the big parade. There is a long list of the special activities held around the day for kids and families to enjoy. A Carousel for Missoula Carousel gave out  free carousel rides. Studio Sweat had a make your own Grinch slime. Missoula Public Library had Santa and his reindeer out for pictures with kids on his sleigh. The library had winter light activities as well. ZACC had the designing of cookie platters. The new Pearl boba tea shop had holiday coloring pages for kids to enjoy. Noteworthy Paper and Press mailed and sent all letters that kids wrote to Santa during the parade straight to the North Pole! The Roxy Theater had many childrens holiday films for families to sit and watch on the big screen. The day was filled with sweet treats to eat with free cookie decorating for kids at Bernice’s Bakery with their signature cookies and frosting. There were many opportunities to fill up a nice cup of hot cocoa. At Mary’s Mountain Cookies, MTCX ski bike events, and Create Art Bar there were hot cocoa bars for people to purchase from. The author Hauna Hochstetler was at Glacier Sotheby’s for a meet and greet along with arts and crafts. Missoula was filled with lights and music from the performers on the street. The Dara Gallery held live music from the University as well as hair tinsel for people to dress up in holiday spirit. Many stores had taught and helped make ornaments for people to keep and put on their tree. Jeannette Rankin Peace Center taught how to make your own peace ornaments. Acrylic ornaments were at the Bicycle Hanger to make. At the Dram Shop people could make D.I.Y. felt Garlands for free. The shop Bathing Beauty Beads charged five dollars for a beaded snowflake ornament. There were also some opportunities for more personalized crafts like at Cranky Sam’s.Visitors could pay $3 to make their own ornament with their photo and the thrift shop Betty’s Divine allowed people to block print their own items for no charge. At Lake Missoula Tea Company they had a make your own tea blend so people could perfect their cup. Downtown shops go all out on the parade day with decorations, crafts, and treats to celebrate the holidays. 

This celebration has been around for many years and is important to Missoula and Missoulians. The joy of the holidays does not go unnoticed with businesses and people joining together to make a parade like this possible every year. We know for sure that Missoula’s holidays will shine as bright as the beautiful town tree.